Chuck Hagel: U.S. Ready To Strike Syria

Chuck Hagel U.S. Ready To Strike SyriaAmerican forces are “ready” to launch strikes on Syria if President Barack Obama chooses to order an attack, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel says.

‘Must be held accountable’

The White House said the US would release intelligence on last week’s suspected attack in the next few days. Prime Minister David Cameron said the world could “not stand idly by” after seeing “appalling scenes of death and suffering” caused by suspected chemical weapons attacks.

The crisis follows last Wednesday’s suspected chemical attack near the Syrian capital, Damascus, which reportedly killed more than 300 people.

US Vice President Joe Biden said there was “no doubt who was responsible for this heinous use of chemical weapons in Syria: The Syrian regime”. In a speech to a veterans’ group in Houston, Mr Biden said that “those who use chemical weapons against defenceless men, women, and children… must be held accountable”.


‘Western intervention’

French President Francois Hollande said France was “ready to punish” whoever was behind the attack, and had decided to increase military support for Syria’s main opposition. Meanwhile the Arab League said it held Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responsible for the attacks and called for UN action. Syrian opposition sources have said they have been told to expect a Western intervention in the conflict imminently.

Russia and China, allies of the Syrian government, have stepped up their warnings against military intervention, with Moscow saying any such action would have “catastrophic consequences” for the region.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has said he rejects “utterly and completely” claims that Syrian forces used chemical weapons, and his government has blamed rebel fighters.

Do you believe the Syrian regime itself is responsible for the said chemical attacks that killed over 300 citizens? Do we see a war with western countries looming over Syria?

Source: BBC News

Image: 23 ABC

Hundreds Killed In Syria Gas Attack

Hundreds Killed In Syria Gas AttackChemical weapons attacks have killed hundreds on the outskirts of Damascus, Syrian opposition activists say. Rockets with toxic agents were launched at the suburbs of the Ghouta region early on Wednesday as part of a major bombardment on rebel forces, they say. The main opposition alliance said that more than 1,000 people were killed by the attacks.

‘Suffocation’

The United Nations Security Council said it was necessary to clarify what happened in the alleged attack, but stopped short of demanding an investigation by a UN team currently in Damascus, following an emergency meeting on Wednesday evening.

Video footage showed dozens of bodies with no visible signs of injuries, including small children, laid out on the floor of a clinic. Ghazwan Bwidany, a doctor treating the injured, told the BBC the main symptom, especially among children, was suffocation, as well as salivating and blurred vision.

“We don’t have the capability to treat all this number of people,” he said. “We’re putting them in mosques, in schools. We are lacking medical supplies now, especially atropine, which is the antidote for chemical weapons.”


‘Red line’

In a statement, the army described the accusations of chemical weapons use as grave, and stressed the military’s right to fight what it described as terrorism in Syria. It accused the opposition of fabricating the accusations to divert attention from the huge losses its forces had suffered recently.

The alleged attack comes a year after US President Barack Obama warned the Syrian government that using chemical weapons would cross a “red line”.

Who do you think is behind this gas attack in Syria? Will this incident result in war soon?

Source: BBC News

Image: The Telegraph